Tuesday, May 05, 2020
RIP Eric "Chaz" Chasanoff - I'm very sad to read that science teacher and blogger Eric Chasanoff has died of Covid. He was 69 years old, older than I thought. Of course that's no con...
- BLOGGER CHAZ PASSES AWAY - There is very sad news to report. Our friend, blogger and long time colleague at Jamaica High School Eric Chasanoff (Chaz) has passed away. From his blog: ...
I'd like to express my deepest sympathies to Eric's family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Eric and I go back many years. He was a longtime Earth Science Teacher at Jamaica High School. Not only was he a successful teacher, Eric was also a strong union activist. He stood up for what he believed in.
We served together for a number of years on Jamaica High School's School Leadership Team. Eric was a supporter of empowering the students and the parents. On the issue of school safety, he was able to help us establish school policies that ensured a safe building while still maintaining student rights. When it came to standing up for teachers, Eric was a staunch defender of the ability of the classroom teacher to have real autonomy in his/her classroom.
That robust defense of teachers sometimes put him in the crosshairs of the Principal who charged him unfairly. Eric was the first teacher to win a probable cause hearing. He defended himself and other falsely accused teachers brilliantly while waiting for his 3020-a hearing to take place. At that time, he became a Queens Liaison with the UFT. When his hearing came around, it was my pleasure to go and testify on his behalf. I was able to tell the arbitrator how after Eric was pulled from Jamaica, the Earth Science Regents scores plummeted drastically. Our friend Francine Kaalund also testified about Eric's abilities in the classroom. He moved on after he won his hearing but we stayed in touch right up through the first part of 2020.
I encouraged him with his blog and he kept pushing me to keep this one going. We would sometimes run ideas passed each other on the phone. One idea was to have a real meeting of Absent Teacher Reserves where we could listen and talk to each other as regular teachers. We wouldn't talk down to ATRs as the UFT is often accused of doing. Eric ran that forum in Manhattan; I mostly sat and watched. The workshop he led for ATR's was nothing like an official UFT ATR meeting. Eric ran it like a good Chapter Meeting. It was really interactive. He never once told an ATR that they were lucky to have a job.
Both the Jamaica High School family and the blogger community have suffered a big loss with Eric's passing. Rest in peace.
Chaz' final posts are below, right on target, as usual.
Sunday, April 26, 2020
There is no doubt that the DOE must reduce their administrative costs but don't be surprised if the majority of cuts come from the schools and classrooms. Susan Edelman of the New York Post wrote a very insightful article that explains where the cuts should come from. However, look for the majority of education budget cuts to come from the schools.
The latest update (Sunday) of the covid-19 count can be found below.
Friday, April 24, 2020
The DOE has quietly informed principals that the hiring freeze has loopholes and they can still hire Special Education, Bilingual, and shortage areas like Math and Science. Look for principals to hire "newbies" by falsely claiming that all the hires are either certified in those fields or in the process of attaining such certification.
As for ATRs? Look for principals to try their hardest to carve out exceptions to the hiring freeze so as not to hire an ATR for their vacancies. Will the union leadership make sure that principals follow the rules? Based on past performance by our union leadership I highly doubt it since they get double dues.by keeping the ATR and the "newbie" they hire.